Dog out in the Cold? What to Do, what to Do…

Well, folks, we’ve hit THAT time of year. What time of year would that be, you say?

That time of year—aka WINTER—where Dogs Deserve Better’s phones ring off the hook with people desperate for help for a freezing dog on a chain or in a pen next door.

This was my dog Sloan when he lived on the chain. And yep, it was perfectly legal for him to be left out in the cold
This was my dog Sloan when he lived on the chain. And yep, it was perfectly legal for him to be left out in the cold. Look at his sad puppy eyes!

What many folks don’t know or don’t understand is that in most parts of the U.S., it is still perfectly legal to force a dog to live on a chain 24/7/365.

Cruel? You bet your bottom dollar. But—in most cases—legal.

Dogs Deserve Better, and many other groups small and large, want to put an end to this (how shall I term it elegantly) BS.

There are laws in about 200-300 cities, counties and a handful of states that limit the amount time a dog can remain tethered—see this link for a listing of most of the current laws on the books. Note that there are fifteen states listed as having some kind of tethering laws on the books statewide, but most of these laws say only that you can’t CRUELLY chain a dog. Alas, in most cases of typical chaining, humane officers or animal control officers don’t consider the mere act of chaining to be cruel, rendering the law a rather useless addendum to animal cruelty statutes.

The best state law on the books comes from California, where one cannot chain a dog for more than three hours at a time, and even that’s supposed to be only to ‘complete a temporary task.’ Unfortunately, it’s still legal to affix a dog in California to a trolley line—a glorified tether—or throw the dog in a pen for life. That, I’m afraid to say, is legal pretty much anywhere.

I formed Dogs Deserve Better because I, like most of the citizens who reside in the U.S., was horrified that in 2002 it was still legal to chain a dog in America.

I had no idea that I couldn’t get help from authorities for the dogs I saw rotting away at the end of a chain when I moved back to Pennsylvania after my stint in the U.S. Air Force and finishing college in the MD/DC area. When I tried and was told repeatedly by an unsympathetic humane officer that there was nothing I could do about the suffering I was forced to witness, I felt anger, helplessness, hopelessness; and then finally determination to do something about it.

I myself come from a family of chainers. Granted, it was much more prominent in the 1960s and 70s than it is today, but, even then, I knew it was wrong.

This wasn't my hound, Maggie, but she lived a very similar and sad life at the end of her chain
This wasn’t my hound, Maggie, but she lived a very similar and sad life at the end of her chain

How can you look at a dog living on a chain and not know in your gut that it’s wrong?

Here’s a quote  illustrating this certain knowledge that I loved from this article: ““Even if you don’t know that not tethering is a law [in California], you’d have to be an idiot to not know that keeping an animal on a stake is so 1950s junkyard-dog,” Welsh said. “You have to be totally insensitive to put your dog in the backyard tied to a tree. If people see a dog tied to a porch, fence or stake, they should call us and we’ll go out.”

I grew up on a 108-acre farm in the tiny village of St. Augustine, in Cambria County, Pennsylvania. We had two dogs, Gally, a black lab, and Maggie, a beagle. Neither of these dogs was allowed to live inside the home with us, but Gally had it better than Maggie. He was free to roam the farm and find all kinds of trouble, including his penchant for dragging home dog food bags from parts unknown and rolling in dead animals to achieve a repugnant pungence that only he seemed to appreciate.

Maggie, on the other hand, was ostensibly a hunting hound, but to my knowledge she never left that chain until the day my brother lost her in the woods. Her’s was a sad and lonely existence, and I hope and pray that my work for those of her kind can begin to make up for what my family did to her by leaving her chained for life.

Worthless on his chain, before his rescue after ten years of hell.
Worthless on his chain, before his rescue after ten years of hell.

So, let’s say now you find yourself in the same quandary I did when I moved back to Pennsylvania in 1995 and bought a house only 1/4 mile from the dog you see above, ‘Worthless’. (No, I didn’t call him that, his owners did).

You are living next door to or seeing a dog chained in the cold—day in and day out.

Rain, snow, sleet, hail; heat, cold. None of that matters, the dog is still out there, alone, freezing, wondering what he/she did wrong to be ostracized from the pack, the family, and begging to get back in.

What to do, what to DO?

Here are some steps I recommend for you to follow, and maybe, just maybe, you will work some magic for the voiceless, suffering being whose only hope may very well be YOU.

alduschained
Aldus is another dog I rescued from a chain years ago; he was peeing blood in the snow, and no one seemed to even notice or care.

1. Research your laws and educate yourself to them.

As I said above, there ARE communities that do have laws limiting the time a dog may live chained. You want to educate yourself on your local chaining laws; because if you don’t, animal control will take advantage of the fact that you are uninformed and use it to blow you off.

Here are the links again to start your research:

This site has many of the time limit or ban laws listed on chaining, but most likely not all because some slip through the cracks: http://www.unchainyourdog.org/Laws.htm

This site has municipal codes of every kind for many cities in the U.S. They may have yours. https://www.municode.com/

If you find nothing on either site, contact your local city or county administration office and find out what your animal cruelty laws are, which would be in addition to your state cruelty laws.

In general, here’s the way laws operate: A state can have a law, say, a law limiting chaining to three hours a day like California. A county or city can then implement a STRICTER law, but NOT a looser law. Say, then, Los Angeles could come along and create a stronger law than the state law, banning the chaining of dogs altogether, but they couldn’t create a looser law, say one limiting chaining to ten hours a day. Does that make sense? So if you live in California, there’s a chance you have your state law, which is three hours, PLUS a local law which could limit chaining or penning even further.

2. If your State or Local Community has a Law Limiting Chaining.

If you have a state or local law banning or limiting chaining, you ARE AMONG THE LUCKY ONES! COUNT YOURSELF BLESSED. In theory, this would mean that you could call your local animal control and they would come along, issue a warning or have a little talk with the owner, and the dog would be taken inside or given up to animal control if the caretakers didn’t want to comply with the law. Happily ever after. (As long as someone goes along and rescues the dog from animal control, of course.) Unfortunately, this happy turn of events is pretty rare.

If you have a state law and the law is blatantly ignored or broken and animal control won’t do anything about it, then you have to force the issue. Follow the steps listed below to take further action on behalf of the dog.

3. If your State or Local Community DOESN’T have a Law Limiting Chaining.

If you don’t have a state or local law banning or limiting chaining, BEND OVER AND KISS YOUR A@$ GOODBYE, cause you’re in for a rough ride. Bwahaha. Sorry, I couldn’t resist!

But it is dire, mostly for the dog; and for you too, if you’re hoping to get a good night’s sleep at all this winter.

By now you will have researched your state laws and at least know what the general cruelty laws say. At a minimum, all states have a law that roughly reads “a dog must have food, water, shelter, and veterinary care”. If the dog doesn’t have these things, or the dog is severely underweight or has some other malady or injury, you still have a shot at animal control or humane officers taking some kind of action on behalf of the dog.

I estimate—from my 13+ years experience in working to free chained dogs all over the U.S.—that about 20% of animal control officers qualify as ‘good guys.’ These are folks, men and women, who actually BELIEVE that chaining is not the way to keep a dog and doesn’t meet a dog’s needs, and even if they don’t have a law on the books, these people will go out of their way to creatively educate the owners or find that the method of chaining or the fact that they are chaining at all is cruel. I LOVE THESE OFFICERS!

If you’re lucky enough to find one of this 20%, you have a good chance of making real change on behalf of the dog.

Unfortunately, that leaves 80% that don’t qualify, in my opinion, as ‘good guys.’ These officers could care less about the dog, or even if they do have a dog at home that lives inside and they don’t personally believe in chaining, they uphold the letter of the law and refuse to make any waves or encourage people with chained dogs to do better.

Sometimes—quite often actually—these officers MAKE YOU OUT TO BE THE BAD GUY instead of the dog chainer, which is very upsetting to someone who just wants the best for a dog who lives in bad conditions.

4. Speak to the Caretakers About the Dog.

This step should come next IF YOU DON’T HAVE A TETHERING LAW. It is my opinion that this should be tried before calling animal control if there is no law to protect the dog, because once you call animal control, they will be pissed and you won’t have a chance of getting through to them.

This step takes a lot of courage; if you can make yourself buddy buddy up to the caretaker, you have a better chance of getting them to give you the dog, OR at least better the dog’s living conditions.

Sometimes, they simple say ‘take the dog, I don’t want him/her anymore anyway,’ and you can have what is literally the BEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE BECAUSE YOU GET TO FREE THIS PRECIOUS BEING (have them hand write a transfer of ownership to you for your protection) and set him/her on to a better life.

Sometimes, they listen to what you have to say but show absolutely no interest in bettering life for their dog or allowing you to help or walk the dog.

Sometimes, they get crazy and scream and yell no matter how nice you are, and you have to hightail it out of there before things get too ugly.

The last one happens a lot.

But, no matter what, after this step you know where things stand, and you know if you can make any headway on your own.

Dogs Deserve Better has brochures you can buy at a low cost, as well as doorhangers, and posters. Check them out at our store, here: http://dogsdeservebetter.org/store.html

We also have a volunteer page with handout letters, brochures, and other items you can print out and take with you. That page is here: http://dogsdeservebetter.org/volunteer.html

5. Report the Dog and the Address to Animal Control or your local Humane Officer.

In all cases, if talking to the neighbors doesn’t work, report the address to your local animal control or humane officer. Even if they do nothing, (which is what happens in most cases), at least they go out and look at the dog, and then both the local authorities AND the owners know that citizens don’t want to see dogs living outside anymore.

I believe we CAN AND WILL change society by raising our voices. We can’t be quiet about it.

6. If Animal Control or the Humane Officer does nothing, here are the ways Dogs Deserve Better can get involved.

If you believe the dog’s situation is illegal, take photos and fill out this form: http://www.dogsdeservebetter.org/chainedaddresses.html. It is best if you give us a way to contact you so we can discuss the situation and help you to help the dog. However, if the photos are egregious and show definite illegalities (and you still want to be anonymous), we can find other local people to confirm and work with animal control to hopefully get help for the dog/s.

If you believe the dog’s situation is not illegal but want our opinion, take photos and fill out this form: http://www.dogsdeservebetter.org/chainedaddresses.html. For this we will need your contact information to get back to you.

If you believe the dog’s situation is not illegal, but know like we do that it is immoral and cruel, then fill out the form, and you can remain anonymous. We will mail educational information to the dog’s caretakers in hopes that they will do better for their dog. http://www.dogsdeservebetter.org/chainedaddresses.html

Robin and I protesting the abuse of dogs at the Olympic Animal Sanctuary last November
Robin and I protesting the abuse of dogs at the Olympic Animal Sanctuary last November

7. If the situation is really illegal and the dogs are in bad shape but animal control and/or the police are not helping, get us photos right away and we will put public pressure on the officials. Or, create your own facebook page or post about the dogs with the photos, and ask us to crosspost it for you.

I’m working a case right now on our Facebook page with skeletal dogs that a citizen posted photos of. (It’s a status, so it may not be there if you don’t click it tonight. https://www.facebook.com/dogsdeservebetter?pnref=story) I networked with the citizen, downloaded the photos, got the numbers for animal control and the police in Corpus Christi Texas, and put them on our facebook with requests for calls. People are calling like crazy! It can and does work.

DDB’s volunteer and rescue coordinator Robin Budin usually oversees these cases for us, and we have a good deal of success with them. There is strength and power in numbers, so we all have to stick together! If dogs are suffering and nothing is being done, good photos of the situation can compel people to make the calls on behalf of the dogs. When law enforcement receives enough phone calls about a situation, often something is done.

If you are in this kind of situation and need immediate help for a dog or dogs that are in bad shape, e-mail Robin at volunteer@dogsdeservebetter.org. Make sure to send photos and your contact information so she can help you.

8. Make an End Run Around Cruelty Laws by Reporting Noise Violations

Most dogs left out in the backyard on a chain or in a pen bark. A lot. And then they bark some more. Why? Because they are cold, bored, lonely, sad, angry, frustrated, hopeless, helpless, injured, dying, praying you’ll notice them. You get the picture. If the dog is in distress, odds are good that he or she is barking.

Most cities and counties have noise ordinances, where you can’t make a ton of noise after say 10:00 p.m. Check your locality for the ordinance that is in effect there, and use it to your advantage.

If nothing else has worked, this could be the way around the situation. With enough noise violations, the owner will either have to take his/her dog inside, or relinquish the dog to animal control. If that happens, and you care about that dog, PLEASE go get him/her out of animal control! With owner surrenders, they are authorized to kill the dog very quickly, so if you care about the dog enough to make a stink on his/her behalf, then go rescue him/her from animal control and either find a group to take the dog or adopt him/her yourself.

It is worth your while to adopt that dog and give him the life he never had before; you will have no better feeling than seeing this dog sleeping on your couch or his own dog bed this holiday season. I promise you that.

9. Work on Chain-ging Laws.

I almost forgot this step, and aside from helping one single dog starfish style, this is the most important step! If your city or county doesn’t have a law, take on the task of creating and getting one passed. Laws get chain-ged by citizens like you and I that take it on and don’t stop until we succeed. The state level is very difficult, but the city and local laws are not AS hard to get passed. Visit our Get Laws page for many good articles and suggestions for you. By chain-ging a law, you help many many dogs as opposed to just the few you manage to salvage from a backyard situation. http://dogsdeservebetter.org/laws.html

Yep, it’s that time of year, folks. Let’s not go into it unprepared this year. Good luck, and please be a voice for the dogs near you. They need our help, and we are often all that stands between them and certain death at the end of a chain.

I got to unchain Sampson last year in the snow, and it is one of the best feelings you'll ever have, to free a dog. Nothing like it!
I got to unchain Sampson last year in the snow, and it is one of the best feelings you’ll ever have, to free a dog. Nothing like it!
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69 thoughts on “Dog out in the Cold? What to Do, what to Do…”

  1. Great article! I commend you for educating the public and saving so many dogs! Hopefully, one day, it will against the law to chain dogs. No dog or other animal deserves to live like this.

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    1. I have a husky/wolf she love’s being outside in the warmer weather if we bring her into the house when it is really hot she want’s back outside!!!!!!!!during the winter month’s she is tied outside during the day but brought in at night well before it get’s dark!!!she is getting up in age and can not stand the cold any more!!!!!!!!!!But when she is tied out we do not forget about her we make sure she has plenty of water and food we go out and talk to her and play with her!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But we always make sure that she know’s that she is still very very much LOVED!!!!!!!!!! we all would be heart broken if anything ever happened to her!!!!!!!!My 15 year old daughter love’s Lilly is our husky/wolf’s name!!!Lilly watche’s over her and all of us here.and some of the thing’s that she does would make you laugh!!!!!!!! NOT EVERYONE WHO TIES A DOG OUTSIDE IS TRYING TO BE MEAN TO THE ANIMAL SOMETIME’S IT’S THE ANIMAL THAT WANT’S TO BE OUTSIDE!!!!!!I LIVE NEAR A ROAD WHERE CAR’S,TRUCK’S AND WHAT EVER HAS 4 WHEEL’S FLY’S UP AND DOWN THIS ROAD AND DO NOT STOP FOR ANYTHING IN THE ROAD WHEN IT COME’S TO ANIMAL’S!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ONE OF MY DOG’S WAS HIT BY THE MAILLADY THANKFULLY HE WASN’T HURT BUT HE COULD HAVE ALL BECAUSE SHE WASN’T DOING THE SPEED LIMILT!!!!!!!!!!!

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      1. I’ve fostered quite a few husky/wolf mixes, and akitas, and I always have a doggie door so they truly get to decide where they want to be. Yes, they will go outside and lay in the snow for a little bit but then they will come back in. They want to be with us. While I do agree that they get hotter than other dogs, I recommend that you install a doggie door, then your dog can be in or out, depending on what he/she likes. Then you know for sure. Of course, you’d need to fence for this. You can do this quite cheaply with welded wire fencing. Then your dog can have the best of both worlds, and you and I don’t have to argue over what your dog likes.

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      2. get a fence, insulated dog house, straw. Bottom line is that we are their guardians and have to make appropriate decisions for them. My dog loves to swim but I don’t let him jump in the water when it freezing. Commonsense has to prevail over your dogs deserves.

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      3. IMO if you don’t have the time, energy or resources to care for a dog without tying it up, you shouldn’t have the dog. Especially a Husky which requirez many hours of exercise per week. They are working dogs that were bread to run. they should be run for at least an hour per day. If you can’t do that, you shouldn’t have a Husky. If you rescued your dog I commend you for it, but if not I can’t imagine what you were thinking getting a wolf hybrid, especially one crossed with a husky. Wolves are NOT pets and should never be crossbred with dogs for any reason.

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      4. I think you should know we are talking mostly about dogs that are tethered most of their lives, they are not allowed in side the house at all and are completly ignored outside. I know there are exceptions to the rule, but if your dog is treated badly and I am sure you know the difference then abuse is abuse..I hate any kind of animal abuse..Sorry but that’s just me.

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      5. I had a husky—-same thing. We didn’t have the funds to provide a fenced yard, but if she was denied the opportunity to be outside she became very depressed and anxious, pacing at the door and crying. When she was tied outside and had the chance to see who was going by, etc, she was content. We’d let her be outside for 3 hours or so and if we brought her in, she immediately went to the door, begging to go back out. We had another dog at the time who was perfectly happy being inside all the time except for walks, and that’s how she lived–inside. Every dog is different and every person’s reason for having their dog outside is different. It’s important not to make assumptions.

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      6. I disagree completely. It only costs like $300 to put up a reasonable fence on your own. And if you get a doggie door, then the dog can decide of she/he wants to be outside. Then I will respect their wishes. but I’ve fostered plenty of huskies and found that they like to be with the pack too.

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  2. It makes me sick, I can’t sleep at night sometimes. Last winter there were some neighbors that left their short haired dog out in negative temperatures. I called animal control for a welfare check and I no longer saw the dog out there. Amen. You are angels on earth.

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  3. Sorry, but new laws or ordinances have been passed about 3-4 months ago that you can’t do this & get away with it. For almost all of the states.

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  4. Humans are the most horrible beings created, hopefully some seance on realizing animal cruelty is unforgivable may be knocked in their thick skulls. If i could, i would CHAIN all those Ass..H..IN the cold !

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  5. It’s great what you have accomplished but what about dogs lose in a fenced yard without shelter to suffer through the weather of summer and winter?

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  6. We have an organization called fencing for fidos. Maybe, if the person wants to keep the dog offer cheap farm fencing and save a life. It’s the coolest thing in the world that they can run around their yard instead of chained. Then there’s education. Sometimes you’ll see the dog up for adoption.

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  7. As a dog loving Brit,I just cannot comprehend why any right thinking person would go to the trouble and expense of acquiring a dog,and then never want to take him into the home as part of the family?
    Are these people so stupid that they don’t understand the mental and physical torture the poor creature suffers in isolation in chains,or what is more likely,they just don’t give a toss

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    1. Here’s a thought, Jimmy: Rewrite the whole article in your impersonal voice in a tasteful way and totally refrain from bias, opinion, supposition, or any hint of your personal feeling about the subject matter. Submit it to Ms. Thayne and perhaps she’ll print your version without all that “distasteful writing” she chose to use.

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  8. Animal Control and rescuers have the same goal: to make sure that animals do not suffer at the hands of humans. To claim that 80% of animal control officers are bad is utterly offensive. No-one does that job because of the paycheck… it’s dirty, dangerous and heartbreaking. Your information is good and important, but the constant bashing of the profession will get you absolutely no respect. If you want things to change, try working WITH them to create a community education program and effective anti-tethering legislation.

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    1. Jen, we do try to work with animal control all over the country. That’s how I’ve derived my opinion. You are entitled to yours, I’m entitled to mine. Every single day we have heartbreak after heartbreak and people crying on the phone to us about dogs that are in illegal conditions and they are not helped.

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    2. Jen, I believe the point she was trying to make is that although the treatment of the dog may seem very cruel, it is often not illegal. For example, a dog may be in the frigid cold but still have a dog house that is considered “shelter”,therefore not illegal. This may mean some officers feel they cannot rescue the dog, because they have no LEGAL reason to and don’t want to disrupt the legal system or endanger their jobs. This is when we as animal advocates must take the situation into our own hands.

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  9. Well i live in Canada and i is not much different here. Where i live fortunately it does not get extremely cold, although we do have cold spells. We have a dog that lives two doors down. This is their second dog since we moved here 11 years ago. The first one has been gone for some time. Both dogs have always been left outside 24/7 365 days a year. It breaks our hearts. We have reported it many times to the SPCA only to be told, it has shelter and food and water nothing can be done. The property is about 1 1/2 acre and the dog is in a fenced area of about 6 feet by 6 feet. It has a dog house, the owners ignore it for the most part, walking past it and not even saying hi. The first dog barked almost non stop, this one barks most of the time. Why bother getting a dog to leave i all alone outside???

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  10. My spin on this is I believe the primary reason for the chaining could possibly be that you have no walls around your homes! In SA we are walled in and our dogs are free to roam, and they love it. We have our dogs indoors but do have people who leave their dogs outside. But then we don’t have your kind of weather. You need someone very creative who can work on a system that would benefit the dogs. There is just too much cruelty in the chaining and this seems to create a lack luster approach for dog owners, where the animal has no contact with it’s owner. Very sad indeed!

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  11. Great job your doing thanks
    I have rescued so many over the years , people just dump them out in the country right off hwy. And they find me or someone calls so off we go to get. Some have been badly beaten some starved it’s sick what people will do .
    I have brought many home to get them off chains or very small pens .we have 40 acres so we have the room .. Some sadly have to be put down because there injury is to bad but for many there got healthy happy and GOOD FOR EVER HOME others live there life out here. I’m on very good terms with our county and town animal control officers they take any cruelty seriously .
    So thanks to all of you who do your part in saving a life and helping them get a life they deserve. No matter dog or any other of God’s creatures

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    1. Yeah, I don’t think so, Jack. Dogs are pack animals, socialized to be with humans. Being alone in the backyard is just a cruel and neglectful way to keep a dog. If you can’t give a dog what he/she needs, then please don’t have a dog. It’s not fair to him/her. They do deserve better!

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  12. While I agree in part with this article, if a dog has to be chained in your yard to keep them there….then you don’t deserve to have a dog because they are not your dog or family member. However, I am going to get on my soapbox because I take issue with the line of thinking that if you love your dog you won’t leave them outside. I live in Wyoming and it gets very cold. I have a husky/healer mix who is miserable when I bring her inside…she is happiest outside protecting her home. Bring her inside and she never rests running from one room to the other trying to protect one person at a time, but when she is outside, she can protect everyone at once. It gets extremely cold out at night and my neighbors have complained every year, but what they don’t understand is we increase her diet intake, start adding lots of protein and fats… eggs, cottage cheese, cooked hamburger, cooked liver, sour cream. She looks like a pony keg on legs during the winter and she has a heated water bowl, an insulated doghouse which is fitted for her size and a weight activated heating dog bed which turns on when she lies down on it…just because she is outside in the cold doesn’t mean she is being mistreated, and I’m not a bad person who doesn’t love my pet. I actually worry more about her more during the summer when it is so hot…but I never get called into animal control then….do complaints come more often when humans are uncomfortable or when animals are?

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      1. Wow, I’m sorry, I didn’t realize that my comment would make you feel the need to argue. I simply said that my girl has anxiety attacks inside and is happier outside and then I said what has been done to ensure her comfort. Just put it out there that not all outside dogs are neglected. Also started my comment that I agreed with your post.

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  13. Armstrong County, Pa. has very relaxed policies concerning dog chaining and tethering. A shelter here is considered any structure, and it doesnt have to have 4 walls. No insulation is needed and no food or water is required. I have had NO luck with anyone to save these poor animals. I have written the United States ASPCA, the dept. of agriculture and several elected officials. The State (USELESS) Police just laugh at you and tell you they cant do anything.

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  14. Ok, since my last response didn’t seem to post, I will reiterate…architecturally impossible and reasonably unnecessary. A doggie door is not needed because she doesnt want to come in because she has been bread for cold weather. How sad that you are so set in your mind that you will not hear anyone else. I’ve read youre responses to others and its all the same…get a doggie door. A doggie door does not bring about world peace…if my girl lived with you she would be miserable..you obviously wouldn’t consider her..her anxiety of being inside, you forget that she wants to protect the house, you forget that she’s bread for cold weather…you just know that she is outside (with a heated bed, an insulated house, with an electric heated bed, a heated water dish, and most importantly, love from us ever day and night) but she’s outside and that is wrong in your mind. What is wrong is that you would force your mindset on her and she would be miserable because its about your comfort level and not hers…like I said, I worry more about her in the summer heat than the winter cold….her fur coat it not ornamental…..you take your coat off in the summer and put on shorts and flip flops but she still has hers…where is your concern then??? I have sun shades, fans and misters put up to keep her from heat stroke. It’s more than a doggie door

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    1. Are you sure about the doggie door not bringing world peace? It sure would bring peace between us. It’s less that the dog wants inside vs. out than that the dog wants to be with YOU. So if you want to move out into the warm doghouse with her, then I would say, yes, now she’s happier. I’ve fostered many an Akita and husky and wolf hybrid, and although they do spend about 15 minutes in the winter laying in the snow, they always come back in THROUGH THE DOGGIE DOOR to hang out with the pack. Their choice. And this was EVERY. SINGLE. DOG. Not just one, not just two, but every single dog I’ve fostered, numbering 250, spent most of their time inside the home with the pack when given a choice. Because they like people and want to be with people.

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      1. You win, I have seen the errors of my ways….I am going to get her some Puppy Prozac or some other doggie downer so she can come inside, join the pack and forget about her anxieties…they aren’t too bad with medication…BUT, she may miss all the school kids that stop by every day on their way to and from school who pet and love on her and bring her treats, and she may miss the kindly older neighbor that sneaks her a treat every day as he takes his recycling out, and she might miss that oh so glorious feeling when her kids get home and hang out throwing her favorite toy for her,,she can just hang out in the house, medicated…not knowing,…but hey, she’s inside….warm and cozy and missing the things she loves…And I never said I didn’t bring her in when it was subzero outside…but rest assured, she’s not chained.

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    2. I don’t believe Tamira is saying “leave her inside all day!” The point is to give her a choice. I’m sure she IS happy outside…MOST of the time. But a doggie door gives her the option of going inside if she needs a break, or wants to spend time with her family. That goes for winter and summer. If you checked on her every 15 minutes, you wouldn’t need one, but would you be willing to do that? Dogs are pack creatures and want to spend time with their “pack”, even if its just to say hello for a few minutes before going back out to patrol.

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  15. I do not understand why people want a dog if they are going to chain it???? How can they do that and face their poor dog every day ??? I feel this way, how would I like to go through that??? If I don’t feel good about a situation,if it’s not something that I would be comfortable in then forger it..It ain’t happening !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  16. Bottom line people. Do not keep a dog if you cannot treat it as one of the family. Domesticated and as pack animals, they need love, attention and stimulation as much as they need water, food, shelter and medical treatment. Cavemen it seems were more civilised than mankind today. What is wrong with people. I am in Australia… same issues but different climate. Keep on the great work. Amazing.

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  17. No point in having a ‘ PET ‘ if you are not going to allow it to be with you, here in the west of ireland there are no laws against having dogs chained, our nearest neighbours have two chained together to their kennel & although they are fed, watered & walked twice a day the rest of the time they just bark & fight & the excuse for them being outside ? They are guarding the house !!! How are they guarding the house ? It’s BS ! The real reason is that they don.t want any dog related mess inside, so back to the beggining…don’t have one then !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  18. Thanks for this website. I am trying to help a super sweet rottweiler girl who is forced to live outside in below freezing weather in chattanooga TN. Fortunately not on a chain but sometimes left in a tiny pen with a plastic igloo. We have tried to convince the baptist cult family that she can be trained to sleep inside but they are in the baptist cult which believes in hate for animals in the southern bible belt where many dogs are chained, in tiny pens or left outside to fend for themselves in the bible belt. We have traveled around the bible belt to find many many dogs on short 6 foot chains or tied to dog houses for years until they die, never off that chain ever. Trying to talk sense into brainwashed cult christian baptist members is next to impossible. They believe that animals have no soul, no emotions, feel no pain, have no feelings and are here to be used and abused by the superior human man animal as said by the lord god jesus man that lives in the sky. The baptists believe they are superior brains to all other humans and therefore because we are not members of the baptist christian cult, that we do not know anything. That we are not the chosen ones, because we are not brainwashed like the baptists are. They say they only obey and bow down to the administer or pastor of the church and will not listen to anyone else because anyone not a member of the baptist cult christian church is satan. This poor dog, so sweet and so desperate to live in the house. She lays outside looking in. So lonely to be left outside day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. What to do?

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    1. Yes, I totally understand your frustration and pain. I know that you sent the address to us, and we will mail out information to them. I recommend taking the steps recommend in this blog and the previous one…maybe seeing if you can find a man to send over there to talk to them, since they will respect a man more.

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  19. I don’t know if it would be considered ‘chaining’ but I do put my dog out on a cable for her potty breaks. She will not stay in yard and has run out into street a few times. Working towards fencing in back yard, but until then it’s the cable for potty breaks. However I usually sit on the porch outside while she runs and does her business and plays.
    As far as indoor/outdoor dogs go it has been my observation thus far that outside dogs (whether chained or not) realistically do not get the same amount of attention they would in the house.
    I have seen kids ‘play’ outside with their family pets but if they stick with it for even an hour that would be amazing. Neighbors kids stop by, great. Another hour if the dog is lucky. The fact is even if the dog had four hours of interaction between family kids, neighbor kids and whomever else wanders down the street (and that is a really really generous estimate) the animal would still be alone 20 hours of every day.
    They are pack animals and even if no one is playing with the dog during the 20 hours of the day it is inside, the dog takes a lot of comfort just from being near you, in the same room etc. being around other living family/pack members. So keeping them outside in fenced yard, or on chain, really is somewhat in humane because you are forcing them into an isolation ,for the greater number of hours during the day, that basically is unnatural to them as a pack animal. Pack = more than one. . . Plural. Ya know.

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  20. I live in the UK and I cannot believe America can be so backward about chained dogs and so cruel. They can send men to the moon but kill a dog on a chain. I hope that before I die ALL the states in America will stop the cruelty to dogs. Keep up the good work.

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  21. Thank God for people like you who care and want to save our suffering dogs. I don’t have a chained dog next door, but I suffer just from reading about them. I hope soon it will be illegal to chain any living creature, not only in some states, but everywhere. It is outrageous that people allow this abuse to continue. Even though I am a disabled senior, I am sure I can find some way to help if I research the situation.

    I also want to mention a most depressing situation for me. I have read about the elephants who are abused for years and years. I can’t stand the thought of some of those dear ones caged in cages much to small for them, 24/7 365 days/year, forced to live like that their entire lives. Some have been caged even for 40 or 50 years! I can’t help crying when I think of them. I hope that one day the human race will evolve to a kinder state, however, lately I really do hate this world, and the mean spirited people who abuse our animals. Like I said, I thank God for people like you who care.
    If you have any ideas, for me to check out, in addition to the sources you mentioned already, please let me know. Thank you for your loving spirit, and always remember, you are blessed.

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  22. What if its not a dog that’s being collared but left outside during 100+ degree whether. The links above appear to only mention collared laws. I live in TX

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    1. I’d get documentation of it and the temp and try to get authorities to do something. If they refuse, go public with it and FB and ask for phone calls to the authorities. Try to make sure they are good pics so people can really see the suffering. Best of luck. I know it’s painful to have to see and worry so much about the poor dog.

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      1. That takes too long!  Offer to buy the dog from the owners if you can afford it and contact a no-kill shelter.

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